Cambodia and ancient ruined temples; the two are quite inseparable. The Southeast Asian country is home to some of the world’s best and certainly most impressive, ranging from huge centerpieces to small yet interesting ones. Some are covered in jungle, some are made in red sandstone, some are huge and grand; you just have to experience the wonders and variety Angkor yourself.
Angkor Archaeological Park is over 400 square kilometers of historical wonder, containing the magnificent remnants of the Khmer’s Empire’s capital from the 9th to the 15 century. This was the world’s largest pre-industrial city and continues to amaze people even to this day. The main highlight here is Angkor Wat. Why is it so special? First, its preservation is quite remarkable. Second, it is huge! Experts agree that this is the world’s largest structure dedicated to religion. Third, it is the main center for not one but two religions, first Hinduism then Buddhism. Angkor Wat is just one of those things you have to experience for yourself in order to comprehend its grand stature.
Next in the Angkor Discovery agenda is the Roluos temple group, representing some of the Khmer Empire’s earliest structures. Some were completely built with bricks; others were built in combination with it, laterite and sandstone. From here, you’ll get to re-create the feeling explorers felt when they first discovered these temples over at Ta Phrom. And what makes this one so different? Jungles, trees, branches and figs have engulfed these structures and claimed it as a part of nature. This is exactly what explorers saw when they re-discovered these temple relics. Your visit will also include Banteay Kdei, a Buddhist monastery from the late 12th century, and Srah Srang, also known as the ‘pool of ablutions’.
Next on the tour is Banteay Srey, one of the smallest temples (only because it is compared with Angkor’s larger ones). Its red sandstone construction allows you to see the elaborate bas reliefs quite clearly, even after all these years. On the way back to Siem Reap you will visit Banteay Samre, on the eastern edge of the Angkor complex.
There’s more on this trip than just temples though. To add several dimensions to your temple tour, we’ll whisk you off to a local village to see the production of rice paper and palm wine. The drink does pack a punch! Try if you dare. You’ll also venture to the Tonle Sap and experience life along the waters. A river sometimes and a lake others, one thing remains; life here is laid back and relaxed. There is also time to see and experience Siem Reap proper, with opportunities to soak in the local flavor at the market and artisan workshops.
Temples and Siem Reap aside, there’s still a whole country to explore! See what Kampuchea has to offer via our Cambodia tours page.
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